IPI resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews appeared on CGTN’s The Heat to discuss this week’s Democratic presidential debates.
Identifying moderate and former Vice President Joe Biden as both the leader in the debates and as the biggest threat to President Donald Trump, Matthews said, “I still think many Democrats are more on the moderate side and haven’t bought into the far-left proposals expressed by so many of the presidential candidates.”
“Having said that, that’s where the energy is—on the far-left side,” said Matthews. “But the country’s not as far-left as Bernie Sanders.”
Matthews also pointed out that running as a moderate compared to the other candidates is tricky, both in regards to policy and also in generating excitement among Democratic voters.
“He’s trying to thread that needle, for instance, on Obamacare,” said Matthews. “It’s a difficult position for him. President Obama passed Obamacare; Biden was his vice president. [Biden] can’t come out and trash that. So he’s got to talk about building on Obamacare.”
“The irony is all the Democratic candidates agree that the current healthcare system is an absolute mess, dysfunctional, costs too much, [there’s] not enough access, but that’s Obamacare. That’s the system they gave us,” he said.
Overall, can Biden generate voter turnout? “Biden is a compromise candidate,” said Matthews. “Nobody seems to be generating the kind of excitement that Barack Obama did when he first ran in 2008—he became the ideal candidate. Joe Biden may win the Democratic nomination, but it’s a compromise. Not because he’s everybody’s ideal.”
Click here to watch the full discussion on CGTN.